Researchers using digital technology have unmasked tawdry passages in Anne Frank’s diary that the young diarist tried to hide under brown masking paper.
The newly-uncovered text includes "dirty" jokes and writing about sex, contraception, and a reference to her father visiting prostitutes.
“Anyone who reads the passages that have now been discovered will be unable to suppress a smile,” said Frank van Vree, director of the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
“The ‘dirty’ jokes are classics among growing children. They make it clear that Anne, with all her gifts, was above all also an ordinary girl,” van Vree said.
Frank was 13 when she authored the passages on Sept. 28, 1942, while hiding in a secret annex from the Nazis during World War II.
The two pages from her journal offer insights into Frank as a girl and a writer, according to Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House museum.
Frank addressed the entries on sex to a fictional friend to make it easier to address sensitive topics, Leopold said.
Researchers from the Anne Frank museum, the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Huygens Institute of Netherlands History analyzed the pages.
They backlit and photographed the pages, and interpreted the words using image-processing software.
Frank wrote about prostitution, saying: “All men, if they are normal, go with women, women like that accost them on the street and then they go together. In Paris they have big houses for that. Papa has been there.”
She made a joke about soldiers using girls for sex: “ Do you know why the German Wehrmacht girls are in Holland? As mattresses for the soldiers,” Frank wrote.
The pages contained another joke about a married couple.
“A man had a very ugly wife and he didn’t want to have relations with her. One evening he came home and then he saw his friend in bed with his wife, then the man said: ‘He gets to and I have to!!!’”
Frank and her family went into hiding in July 1942, where they stayed until Aug. 4, 1944, when they were discovered and taken to Auschwitz.
Frank’s father, Otto Frank, was the sole survivor of the war, after which Anne’s diaries were published.
With News Wire Services